A.R. Silverberry discusses The Miracle of Now and his latest novel, THE STREAM

I’m so happy to welcome my friend A.R. Silverberry to my blog today! He just released a new book called THE STREAM and it sounds like such an intriguing and enlightening read. I’ve asked him to share the inspiration behind his very imaginative tale…

 

The Stream Cover

 

The Miracle of Now by A.R. Silverberry

Many years ago, when I was in college, I took a class called Eastern Religions and Philosophy. I’ve forgotten most what was taught, except I remember being fascinated as we discussed Buddhism. The professor, a thirty-something, hippie type, said that when Buddhist practitioners meditated, they, “Just sat.” At the time, I really didn’t understand the significance of that. Were they waiting for something to happen? How did this lead to enlightenment? Years later, I got it. There are so many ways to dodge reality. There are the obvious ways, like drugs and alcohol. And there are the subtle ways, like thinking about something else while someone is talking.

The other day, my wife and I dined in our favorite restaurant. At one of the tables sat a family of four. The boy was glued to his iPad. Okay, I get that. All kids are glued to them nowadays. What was striking was the rest of the family. The sister, mom, and dad were focused on their phones. No one talked to each other, let alone acknowledged the presence of the rest of the family. Family day—that special time to share, exchange, bond, and give love—was absent in this family. They were as disconnected as an unplugged phone line.

When we over focus on the past or the future, we miss the miracle of what’s unfolding right before our eyes. The risk is that we go through our lives running from phantoms that don’t exist, or we chase dream after dream, feeling empty and unsatisfied when we arrive at our destination.

For the past twenty-five years, psychologists have turned to the practice of mindfulness, studying the benefits on health, stress reduction, creativity, pain management, better coping, memory, relationship satisfaction, attention, and concentration, to name a few.

But there may be a more compelling reason to practice awareness of what’s unfolding in the here and now. True happiness, happiness that can fill us with a lifetime of joys, is found in each moment of existence. Try this. The next time you’re feeling stressed, turn off your phone, turn off your radio, open your eyes to the wind, the sky, the trees, the air flowing into your lungs. Listen to the song of the birds, of children playing in a park. Open your heart to the miracle of each moment.

Here’s a challenge. But first, a little background. My novel, The Stream, was born during a conversation I was having about how to best cope with the curve balls, even the tragedies life throws at us. Drawing on my background as a psychologist, I suggested that embracing the here and now and developing a sense of gratitude were two powerful responses. The metaphor of a stream came into my mind. In a few hours, the character of Wend, a small boy, alone, defense, trying to understand the ways of the world, popped into my mind. I saw images of him confronting the trials we all face: love, loss, pain, losing your way. In a way, we are all that boy, orphans floating on the flux of life, trying to comprehend the enormity of existence.

Such a boy needed a world that encompassed the enormity of life. What follows is a description of his world. Though it didn’t make it into the novel, it could have. As I leave you, here’s the challenge. How would you cope in such a world? Who would you turn to? What would be important to you? What would you hang on to for a sense of stability and continuity? What would give your life meaning? Feel free to post your responses in the comments section.

If Wend had stopped to think about it, he would have realized that his family, searching for fruit, nuts, and roots, never ventured far from either shore, that travelers never sailed upstream to tell tales of what lay ahead. Except for tacking and voyages of a few miles, his family never ventured upstream either. When he’d asked his father why, he was told, “It’s a law.” Wend must have looked blank because his father told him to jump as high as he could. Wend jumped, and after his feet landed on the ground, his father said, “Now jump as high as the top of the mast.” Wend had laughed, but declared that no one could do that.

“Why not?” his father asked.

“We come down first,” Wend replied.

“It’s a law,” said his father. “And it’s a law that we go that way.”

His father pointed downstream.

If Wend had thought of these things, he would have understood that everyone was tethered to the stream and could only go in one direction. People stopped from time to time, working at abandoned foundries to smelt metal for anchors, chains, and knives, cutting trees to build or repair boats, living in villages, taking over deserted houses like creatures that move into another animal’s shell. They never stayed long, always returning to their boats, always going with the current, always traveling downstream.

Here’s more about The Stream:

What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?

After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?

Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.

Purchase The Stream:

EBook:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Softback:

Amazon

 

Follow A. R. Silverberry:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Peter Adler

About A. R. Silverberry:

A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Awards gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. Silverberry, the pen name for psychologist Peter Adler, continues to balance his clinical practice with writing. THE STREAM is his second novel.

 

 

3 Responses

  1. AR Silverberry Says:

    Thanks, for hosting me on your blog today, Bonnie! This was a fun post to write!

  2. admin Says:

    Love this post, Peter! So much truth in it and I love that your book encompasses this philosophy. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration and you’re welcome back any time!

  3. Alina Sayre Says:

    A very useful principle and an intriguing book premise! I can’t wait to read it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>